How many identities do you have?
· Creative Director / Fashion Designer of Jonté Designs
· PR & Marketing enthusiast
· Wifey & Family Member
· Charity supporter
· Adventurer … glamper ;)
· Rescue Scuba Diver
· Fitness Devotee
· Gluten & Dairy Free Foodie … by default!
Tell us a bit about your story and how you’ve got to where you are now?
I was reared surrounded by fashion as I sat in on my mother Michelle Pike’s fashion lectures as a child in South Africa. After moving to Australia in 2001, I immersed myself in art and fashion through high school. Pursuing my studies in Fashion Design and Technology, I attended Perth’s South Metropolitan Tafe as well as Commerce studies at Curtin University. I was fortunate enough to be selected on various scholarships including travelling to Japan on two occasions surrounding textile exploration and South Korea’s Preview International Trade Show representing Western Australia. I worked in fashion retail through my years of studying and continued to do so while I started setting up the Jonté Label. This was an invaluable experience to gain more knowledge about the colourful world of fashion!
After showcasing at Perth Fashion Festival and Perth Fashion Week, I gained my first stockist in 2012 and the label grew from there! The Jonté Designs Studio moved from a home studio to commercial premises in 2015 where customers are welcome to view the open-plan workroom/showroom. The label has continued to see growth through Stockists including locally and interstate, social media following, exposure through runway shows, media features and celebrity/socialites spotted wearing Jonté garments. 2018 has seen a focus on special occasion wear through multiple TV features of Jonté clothing including on The Bachelor Australia, The Bachelor in Paradise Australia and News/Talk Show Presenters.
2019 sees the launch of my Platinum Jonté Bridal Collection! Jonté Platinum is an international online bridal boutique with showroom and workroom located in Perth. After getting married in October 2017 and after creating all the gowns for this occasion it ignited a passion for designing and creating dream Wedding Gowns and Bridesmaid dresses. After numerous emails about creating bridal gowns based on my evening wear designs, I decided to create a bridal line that embodies femininity, edginess and a hint of an eclectic feel. Thats my story in a nutshell - forever evolving!
What has been your most challenging moment in life thus far?
There have been many challenging moments through running a business and multitasking all the various hats you wear as an entrepreneur, but an ongoing challenge has been the long distance relationship my husband and I have had to sustain to both chase our career dreams! Being a pilot, my husband spent many years traveling around rurally building up hours to enter into the next phase of his career. This was amazing for me to experience more of Western Australia but for my career I needed to stay based in our capital city. My husband has now relocated to Sydney for a new job, I am looking at working between the states to continue growing Jonté over-east … entering into my own fi-fo lifestyle! I like having things planned out, but learnt very quickly with our situation that you take it as it comes and be open to riding the rollercoaster of life.
How do you feel stereotypes have affected women in society so far?
Our decade is one that has certainly challenged previous mentalities of female stereotypes! It is very special to be a part of this era which is becoming increasingly open-minded. Gender equality is on the forefronts of topical conversations and the movement is well on its way.
What are you doing to affect change?
I have been focusing on educating society about supporting local companies and shopping more sustainably. Chatting to my customers or as a guest speaker to consciously think about how the fashion industry has changed with fast fashion and how to have a balance in their wardrobes to support this sustainable outlook. I also support numerous charity events through the year by providing sponsored entertainment via fashion or prizes to keep involved and engaged in varies opportunities supporting good causes in our society.
How have you grown as a person, mentally, emotionally and spiritually since starting your career in Fashion?
Since launching my label in 2012 as a 22 year old - I have developed so much as a person! Now turning 29, I feel privileged to have worked with so many amazing influential people who have helped shape who I am today. I thoroughly enjoy living in Perth and being able to network with a wealth of women who have helped me mature and grow into a socially conscious woman. I have also grown to be a self-believer, this was an area which was very challenging as a young entrepreneur. I have learnt to over-ride doubt and become a relentless self-motivator, that has taken years to establish and is something I try and nurture every day.
What would you say to all the women out there who want to start a business but don’t know where to start?
Surround yourself with like-minded women where you can have an incubator environment to support you through your ventures. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice as everyone had to start somewhere and have most likely felt the same way as you do!